16th May 2023

DBS Check for Private Hire Drivers in London

One of the steps to becoming a private hire driver in London is passing your enhanced DBS check. This is a background check that ensures you don’t have a criminal history that would prevent you from working as a driver.

The DBS is the Disclosure and Barring Service, a non-departmental body of the UK’s Home Office, which assists employers with criminal record checks during the recruitment process.

Here’s what you need to know about your DBS check as a private hire driver.

Different Types of DBS Checks

There are a few different types of DBS checks available for different situations:

  • Basic: Provides details about unspent convictions and conditional cautions. Suitable for any purpose, including employment. (Individuals can also request a basic DBS check on themselves.)
  • Standard: Provides details about spent and unspent convictions and cautions, reprimands and warnings. Suitable for certain job roles, like security guards.
  • Enhanced: Provides all information included in a basic or standard check, plus information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the job role. Used for certain specified roles, including healthcare, personal care and taxi driver jobs.
  • Enhanced with Barred Lists: Provides all information included in an enhanced check, plus a check of one or both Barred Lists. This tells an employer whether the applicant is on a list of people legally barred from doing the job in question. Suitable for healthcare or personal care roles.

Note that as a job applicant, you can’t apply for an enhanced DBS check on yourself. The party who is asking you to go through the check – a recruiter or potential employer – must apply for the check online.

The DBS Check Process for Private Hire Drivers

The recruiter must provide you with a DBS application form to fill out. Here are some guidelines for completing the form:

  • Use a black pen to fill out the form.
  • Use only capital letters and write only one character in each box.
  • Complete all the mandatory sections (these are in yellow).
  • Include all the addresses you’ve lived at in the past 5 years (including overseas addresses).
  • If a field doesn’t apply to you, leave it blank instead of writing N/A or drawing a line.
  • If you make a mistake, draw a line through it and add the correction on the right.
  • If you run out of space, use a continuation sheet (you can download this or request it from the recruiter).
  • When signing the form, keep your signature inside the box provided.
  • Don’t put any staples in the form.

Return the completed form to your recruiter – don’t send it directly to the DBS. The recruiter will check your identity and countersign the form before submitting it to the DBS. Once you pass the check, the DBS will issue a certificate that clears you to work as a private hire driver.

Make sure you write down your Form Reference Number (you can find this on the front of the form) and use the free DBS tracking service to track the progress of your application. You can also use this number to join the DBS update service, which is important for keeping your DBS certificate up to date.

All Addison Lee drivers must pass an enhanced DBS check before they join our fleet. If you’re interested in driving for London’s premium PHV operator, contact our team and start the application process today.

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